WE MEET AGAIN: Melbourne United's Chris Goulding takes on Adelaide 36er pair Daniel Johnson and Shannon Shorter.
WE MEET AGAIN: Melbourne United's Chris Goulding takes on Adelaide 36er pair Daniel Johnson and Shannon Shorter. News.com.au GLA290318HOOPS

EXCLUSIVE: Beyond the arc with CG43 - Chris Goulding

BASKETBALL: It's a bit of a far cry from the confines of Kev Broome Stadium, but McDonalds Gladstone Port City Power can lay claim to one of its own in Melbourne United colours in Saturday night's NBL game five grand finals against Adelaide 36ers.

Chris Goulding, the man with the rock-star looks and killer three-point shooting accuracy, played three games for the Power back in 2013 as part of his Australian Boomers preparations.

The 6ft 4 inch point guard's immediate focus is on Saturday's blockbuster in Melbourne and he took time out to speak with The Observer in an exclusive interview.

He expresses his thoughts on having NBL players competing in the QBL, his Gladstone connection, the Shannon Shorter 'smack talk and of course the Australian Boomers men's basketball team's Commonwealth Games ambitions.

NK: How are you feeling and how have preparations been?

CG: Preparations have been good and obviously we've had the chance to win the championship in game four down in Adelaide which didn't happen. We had a pretty shaky first half of basketball and when you are playing against some of the best teams in Australia, it's hard to come back against which we almost did, but disappointingly missed out an a chance to win it there. We are really determined to try and win it on our home court now.

NK: There's no love lost between the teams and what's been the focus from game four to this Saturday night?

CG: We've shown that we can come back from deficits. Obviously we don't want to be down at any stage, but for us being really aggressive, playing our style of basketball from the start is something that's important for us. In some ways we've gone away from the style of defence that has got us to where we are in the two games in Adelaide. To be back on our home court and to be able to be aggressive and try and get the crowd into it, will go a long way in helping us.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 28:  Chris Goulding of Melbourne shoots for goal during the round 16 NBL match between the Sydney Kings and Melbourne United at Qudos Bank Arena on January 28, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 28: Chris Goulding of Melbourne shoots for goal during the round 16 NBL match between the Sydney Kings and Melbourne United at Qudos Bank Arena on January 28, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images) Tony Feder

NK: Are you guys feeling any extra pressure, or is it just maintaining the same processes as in games one and three?

CG: Yeah I mean for the most part there's maintaining the same focus and energy that we have to go into games. Of course we'll make some adjustments as to how they've been playing and how we've been playing as is the case in any five game series. But, I think it's exciting for us. This is the definitive game and the season ends on Saturday night and we're looking forward to come out there and try and finish the season the right way.

NK: Obviously game three was pretty fiery with Shannon Shorter and what's he like as an opponent - is he pretty mouthy and he doesn't mind having a crack at Casper Ware?

CG: It's something I generally don't pay a whole lot of attention to. Guys talk a lot of smack. He certainly seems to be talking quite a bit out there and whether that gets him motivated and gets him going I'm not sure. He said a couple of words to me, but I don't really engage in smack talk and it's not my style. Everyone's different especially from different parts of the world and they use everything they can as motivation.

NK: Do you think all that caper was media hype or enhanced by the media you reckon?

CG: I mean obviously there were a couple of instances of push and shove and back and forth and smack talk during the game and we can't hide that. It's in front of cameras and the media will report on what they see. There's definitely been some chirpy encounters there and I wouldn't say the media has made it up. I think it's just individually how much you buy into it.

NK: You played three games for the Power and tell us about your memories there and what can you recollect back five yours ago?

Men's basketball, Phoenix Power vs Townsville Flames at Kev Broome Stadium, Gladstone. 
Power's Chris Goulding. 
Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer
Men's basketball, Phoenix Power vs Townsville Flames at Kev Broome Stadium, Gladstone. Power's Chris Goulding. Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer Christopher Chan

CG: It was before a Boomers camp and I think about a month before to get ready and get into shape. I was good mates with the late Blair Smith and he just asked if there was a possibility that I'd go up and play a couple of games. It worked well and I think it was Braydon Hobbs the import who hadn't come in yet. He was coming in about week three of the season and it was just good timing and obviously my personal connection with Blair and his family made it quite easy to come up and play games. It was quite good and a great crowd.

Men's basketball, Phoenix Power vs Townsville Flames at Kev Broome Stadium, Gladstone. 

Power's Chris Goulding. 

Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer
Men's basketball, Phoenix Power vs Townsville Flames at Kev Broome Stadium, Gladstone. Power's Chris Goulding. Photo Christopher Chan / The Observer Christopher Chan

NK: Having NBL players in the QBL level - that's got to be a good thing to strengthen that competition?

CG: Yeah it is and that's the great thing about NBL and allowing guys to go and develop and for some people earn more money. Whether it'd be regional areas or just smaller clubs, to five back to those communities and play in front of some of the best fans. In the QBL some of the Central Queensland and Northern Queensland teams have the best crowds. The communities love the games and they get behind their basketball team. So I think it's a good experience all round for guys to get back and for the QBL to have NBL experience in the league is going to bolster the league.

NK: If you guys win the NBL grand final are your celebrations going to be cut short with the Commonwealth Games?

CG: Yeah, if we do win there will be a couple of days' celebrations, but me and Nathan Sobey and a couple of guys from the others teams - our minds are going to have to shift pretty quickly to try and win a gold medal for Australia. So whatever happens on Saturday night, we'll deal with that over the next couple of days then the mind will focus for the next competition for Australian basketball.

NK: Should be great competition, so what's after the Commonwealth Games?

CG: I'll take a little bit of time and will go overseas and to the States for a little bit of a holiday and come back early May and see what's going on.

NK: Any chance of rekindling your connection with Gladstone Port City Power this season?

CG: Ah (laughs) never say never, but to be honest it's not on my radar.



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